Europa 2014 - Folk Instruments SI

Europa 2014 - Folk Instruments

Lijerica (ljerica, lirica, lira orvijalo) is a three-string instrument, which according to the opinion of some ethnomusicologists originates from Greece, wherefrom it was spread to the Adriatic area and some other parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Time ago spread along the Adriatic coast (all the way up to the island of Cres and Istrian coast), it is today in use only in the area of Dubrovnik littoral, Župa dubrovačka, Konavli, in the peninsula of Pelješac, on islands of Mljet and Lastovo and in the Croat-inhabited regions of Eastern Herzegovina.
The body (or sound box) and the neck are pear-shaped, made of one piece of maple wood or nut wood. The hollow body is covered with thin board, and on top of it there are three strings across which the bow is pulled (the so called arket). The strings have specific names: kantin – first string on which it is played, sekondo – second string with the lowest tune and the baš (bass) – third string tuned for the whole tone lower than the first string kantin. This means: if the first string is tuned to the tone G, then the middle one is C (it is lower quinta in relation to the first string), and the last tone is F (the quarta in relation to the middle string). Once, there were also other ways of tuning lijerica, but with time they disappeared.
The player of lierica, called lieričar, holds the instrument in vertical position reclined against the left knee and plays it accompanying the dance, while tapping rhythm with the leg. Sometimes, while playing, the player also used to sing or accompany the singers. There are several ways of playing lijerica depending on the way of bow pulling across the strings and the rhythmic template of the dance.
Lijerica is a prototype form of a modern violin and belongs to the instrument family which the Germans called Leier, and the Latins vielle. Instruments akin to lijerica are Macedonian ćemene, Bulgarian gadulka and Cretan lyre. The best known Croatian lijerica player was Nikola Lale Linđo from Župa dubrovačka after whose nickname (Linđo) also a Dubrovnik traditional dance is known.


Sopile is an old traditional musical instrument similar to today’s oboe which has remained preserved until today in the Kvarner and Kastav region, Vinodol and the island of Krk.
From the music instrument similar to sopile at the end of middle ages there developed the instrument called shawm (šalmaj), whose main features were double reed and a conical bore along the whole instrument. This instrument has completely vanished from the European musical traditional at the beginning of the 18th century. At that time it was replaced by a far better developed instrument - oboe. The primitive shapes of shawm remained preserved just in some parts of Europe in traditional music instruments (e.g. in Swiss Alps and in Italian region Abruzzo, where it is called piffero and also in our regions of Istria and Kvarner.
The characteristic of sopile is the double beating tongue made of common reed (and the conical pipe made of wood. The parts of sopila are reed, tone holes (špulet), pipe and bell (krilo). There are small and great sopila or fat and thin sopila since they are always played in pairs. The sopile players (Croatian: sopci) play the instrument most often on three occasions. Their first and most important role was to accompany the dance (tanac) on Sundays or holidays, when the youth would gather in the main square or in front of the church after evening mass. During playing the players (sopci) stomp the floor with their feet, giving thus rhythm to themselves and the dancers. Second occasion were wedding celebrations and the third playing in church. To that purpose the instrument was especially tuned for one-part playing. The players played during the whole mass and in processions (e.g. for the holiday of Corpus Christi).
The sopile players were always highly esteemed and the pairs of sopile players who were especially distinguished by their virtuosity and playing style were remembered. Although pretty simple, the sopile are an instrument of interesting timbre possibilities and very piercing sound and are still today used in folk music of the Kvarner region and the island of Krk.



Technical Details

Issue Date: 09.05.2014
Designer: Sabina Rešić, painter and designer, Zagreb
Printer: Zrinski - Čakovec
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 35,5 x 29,82 mm
Values: 0.41, 0.99